Is There Truly a Green Product?

Companies want to sell to people who want to be green and protect the earth. It is a large market and they are concerned about their bottom line. So they produce products that Produce less CO2, Don’t harm animals, or are built from recycled materials. One company who uses this green advertisement strategy is Toyota especially when they are selling their Prius. The Prius is a hybrid car and uses less fuel and produces less CO2 than the conventional car. But Making the Prius is not a very green process. The Batteries use rare metals that have to be mined from the earth. Different parts have to be shipped around the world to the factory, and then the car as to be assembled which uses energy and then the car has to be shipped to a dealer near you for you to purchase it. So before you even buy the car, the parts and the final product itself might have traveled hundreds of miles. Maybe even thousands! Now, because of all the extra mining shipping and a larger energy input into the car, does this make the Prius less environmentally friendly than a conventional car? In short no. When both a Prius and a conventional car are compared over a 160,000-mile life time, the conventional car still pollutes and uses more energy over its life time.

But the point that I am trying to make here is that even the products that we perceive as “green” aren’t actually as green as we think. The only true green product is no product at all. The green option when it comes to transportation would be to walk, bike or take public transport to where you want to go. But in the situation where public transportation is poor (ahem, basically everywhere in America) The Prius is a much greener option than a conventional car. Just keep in mind when you see an advertisement that is supposedly green, it might be greener just to not purchase that product at all!

By Tom Walters



5 thoughts on “Is There Truly a Green Product?

  1. I agree that there really aren’t any 100% green products out there. If you are someone that wants to be “green” I think you need to do a lot of research on the products you buy to find out what products have a net zero waste process, or close to it. Even though there aren’t products out there that are completely green, I think that these greener alternatives are definitely a better option and help to limit pollution, or greenhouse gas emissions.

    Jacob Fischer


  2. Dylan Nourse
    Another thing to consider is the disposal of the battery of the Prius, or any other fully electric or hybrid car. These can be just as difficult and costly to manage as nuclear waste given their toxicity. I completely agree, you can’t judge a book by its cover, you have to look at the complete story of a product to really be able to analyze it’s impact.


  3. Although the Prius is good on gas and mileage, you did make a good point bout its being manufactured in an unfriendly way. In the short run, i see the appeal but a lot of people dont know you have to replace the battery of prius cars every few years which takes a couple grand out of your pockets. One has to decide if costs are worth the alternative solution of biking or by train/bus.

    Chandler Braxton


  4. Another problem with the Prius is where the electricity that powers is comes from. An electric car won’t be helping much if the electricity comes from a coal plant or another non-renewable energy plant.


  5. I agree with the comments above pertaining on how are electric cars helping the environment if the electricity is being generating from a non-renewable source? This product seems to be promoted for the company to sell and generate profit, rather than help the environment.


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